Author Archive | Good German

Fukushima: the First Cancers Emerge


Oliver Tickell writes at CounterPunch:

The Japanese government has made its first admission that a worker at the Fukushima nuclear plant developed cancer as a following decontamination work after the 2011 disaster.

The man worked at the damaged plant for over a year, during which he was exposed to 19.8 millisieverts of radiation, four times the Japanese exposure limit. He is suffering from leukemia.

The former Fukushima manager Masao Yoshida also contracted cancer of the oesophagus after the disaster and died in 2013 – but the owner and operator of the nuclear plant, Tepco, refused to accept responsibility, insisting that the cancer developed too quickly.

Three other Fukushima workers have also contracted cancer but have yet to have their cases assessed.

The Fukushima nudear disaster followed the tsunami of 11 March 2011. Three out of four reactors on the site melted down, clouds of deadly radiation were released following a hydrogen explosion, and the nuclear fuel appears to have melted through the steel reactor vessels and sunk into, or through, the concrete foundations.

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Congressmen Want Probe of Exxon Mobil ‘Failing to Disclose’ Climate Change Data

Michael Phillis and Susanne Rust write at the L.A. Times:

Members of Congress are asking for a federal investigation into Exxon Mobil.

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Los Angeles) and Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Walnut Creek) wrote a letter Wednesday to Atty. Gen. Loretta Lynch asking the Department of Justice whether the company violated the law by “failing to disclose truthful information” regarding climate change.

The letter cites recent investigations by the Los Angeles Times, Columbia University’s Energy and Environmental Reporting Project, and Inside Climate News, which showed the company incorporated climate change research into its operations while publicly casting doubt on that very same science.

“When I read the Times investigation it occurred to me that it is very similar to what the tobacco companies were doing decades ago,” Lieu said. “Evidence showed that what they were saying was incorrect and they kept spreading this disinformation campaign.”

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Fox & the War on Cops

You Can't Sell That Photograph, Said the Cop
Mike LaBossiere writes at Talking Philosophy:

After bringing the world live coverage of the War on Christmas from their own minds, the fine folks at Fox have added coverage of the War on Cops. The basic idea is that violence against cops has increased dramatically and that cops are being targeted. Blame is laid primarily on the Black Lives Matter movement and, this being Fox, President Obama.

Unlike the War on Christmas, Fox does have some real-world basis for the claims about violence against police officers. Police officers are, in fact, attacked and even killed in the line of duty. In some cases, officers are specifically targeted and murdered simply for being police. The harming of citizens, be they police or not, is clearly a matter of concern. The problem is that while police do face the threat of violence, Fox’s rhetoric and claims simply do not match reality.

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People Are Getting Shot by Toddlers on a Weekly Basis This Year

Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 12.44.52 PM

Christopher Ingraham writes at the Washington Post:

This week a 2-year-old in South Carolina found a gun in the back seat of the car he was riding in and accidentally shot his grandmother, who was sitting in the passenger seat. This type of thing happens from time to time: A little kid finds a gun, fires it, and hurts or kills himself or someone else. These cases rarely bubble up to the national level except when someone, like a parent, ends up dead.

But cases like this happen a lot more frequently than you might think. After spending a few hours sifting through news reports, I’ve found at least 43 instances this year of somebody being shot by a toddler 3 or younger. In 31 of those 43 cases, a toddler found a gun and shot himself or herself.

In August, for instance, a 21-month-old in the St.

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Can Madness Save the World?

Ghost of Madness
Paris Williams writes at CounterPunch:

Over the years of my explorations into psychosis and human evolution, a very interesting irony became increasingly apparent. It is well known that people who fall into those deeply transformative and chaotic states typically referred to as “psychosis” often feel at different points throughout their journeys that they have received a special calling to save the world, or at least the human race. Indeed, this experience played a particularly prominent role in my own extreme states, as well as within those of at least two of my own family members. From a pathological perspective, this is often referred to as a kind of “delusion of grandeur,” though in my own research and writing, I have come to feel that the term “heroic (or messianic) striving” is generally more accurate and helpful. The great irony I have come to appreciate is that while I think it’s true that these individuals are often experiencing some degree of confusion, mixing up different realms of experience (for example, mixing up collective or archetypal realms with consensus reality, or confusing unitive consciousness with dualistic/egoic consciousness), I have come to feel that perhaps the key to saving the world, or at least the human species, may in fact actually be revealed within these extreme experiences.

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Elvis Has Left the Building: a Reply to Slavoj Žižek

Andrew Stewart writes at CounterPunch:

In a September 9, 2015 column published in The London Review of Books, philosopher Slavoj Žižek masked a series of relatively conservative positions in his typical confection of psycho-analytic vocabulary and post-Soviet reflections on Marxism. The man who was once called the “Elvis of cultural theory” has some interesting suggestions:

First, in the present moment, Europe must reassert its commitment to provide for the dignified treatment of the refugees… Second, as a necessary consequence of this commitment, Europe should impose clear rules and regulations. Control of the stream of refugees should be enforced through an administrative network encompassing all of the members of the European Union (to prevent local barbarisms like those of the authorities in Hungary or Slovakia). Refugees should be assured of their safety, but it should also be made clear to them that they must accept the destination allocated to them by European authorities, and that they will have to respect the laws and social norms of European states: no tolerance of religious, sexist or ethnic violence; no right to impose on others one’s own religion or way of life; respect for every individual’s freedom to abandon his or her communal customs, etc… Third, a new kind of international military and economic intervention will have to be invented – a kind of intervention that avoids the neocolonial traps of the recent past… Fourth, most important and most difficult of all, there is a need for radical economic change which would abolish the conditions that create refugees… When I was young, such an organised attempt at regulation was called communism.

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World’s Largest PR Firm Is Dropping Coal, Climate Change Deniers

ZKfsR4JCVia Planet Experts:

Last year, Planet Experts ran a brief story on Edelman, the largest public relations firm in the world, and its role in selling the public misinformation on climate change. At the time, Edelman was almost alone among its top 25 peers in its willingness to represent climate change deniers.

And that was all right for the firm’s CEO, Richard Edelman, who held the view that turning away any business would cost his company the chance to reach $1 billion in revenues.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the cash register.

Edelman Lost Clients, Leaders and Goodwill Over Climate Change

Last year, The Nation confirmed that Edelman was on a nearly $52 million retainer for the American Petroleum Institute (API). As part of the strong arm of the fossil fuel industry, Edelman ran several pro-oil campaigns, including the management of “multiple websites and online advertising efforts asking officials to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, support tax deductions for the oil industry and expand access for drilling on public lands.” Corporate Watch even alleged that Edelman was responsible for astroturfing several fake grassroots organizations in support of fossil fuel spending and jobs.

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Climate Skeptic’s Fossil Fuel Funding Exposed


Andy Rowell writing at Oil Change International (from Feb.):

For nearly two decades avid researcher, Kert Davies, has been hunting climate deniers and exposing their links to the fossil fuel industry.

Davies, who used to run Greenpeace USA’s Research Department, developed Exxon Secrets a decade ago which highlighted many of these links. It remains an invaluable tool today.

Last year, Kert decided to move on from Greenpeace and set up the Climate Investigations Center, whose remit is to “monitor the individuals, corporations, trade associations, political organizations and front groups who work to delay the implementation of sound energy and environmental policies that are necessary in the face of ongoing climate crisis.”

For anyone who has followed how climate sceptics have distorted the debate on climate science, there are a few key names on the list. And one of those is Wei-Hock Soon, more commonly known as Willie Soon, who is an astrophysicist from the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics.

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Anti-Vaccine Activists Smear Couple Whose Child Died

Baby Riley: A victim of whooping cough.

Baby Riley: A victim of whooping cough.

Via Green Jihad:

Anti-vaccine activists have stooped to an all time low. An Australian couple whose child died from a vaccine-preventable disease decided to take their experience by writing about it on social media in order to warn people but were met with insults and outright vitriol for their daring to speak out.

An opinion piece in The West Australian describes the experience of Catherine and Greg Hughes. Six months ago, the couple tragically lost their four week old baby, Riley, to whooping cough die to not vaccinating him and upon posting messages on social media warming people of what happened when their baby died of pertussis, they were trolled and had insults directed at them by online anti-vaccine activists.

One campaigner compared the couple to Adolph Hitler’s Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbles, claiming they were conducting a sales pitch for vaccine companies. Another went so far as to question Riley’s existence stating that his death might have been staged in order to promote immunization efforts.

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